Your guide to California's Congressional District 40 race: Rep. Young Kim faces two challengers

  • Young Kim, Republican, incumbent

Kim, who was born in South Korea, was one of the first three Korean American women elected to Congress in 2020. She previously served in the state Assembly for two years and unsuccessfully ran for Congress in 2018. Kim worked for more than two decades for then-Rep. Ed Royce, a longtime member of Congress from Orange County.

Kim told The Times she’s running to “continue to bring commonsense back to Washington, break through partisan gridlock, and deliver results.” She added that “we must make life affordable, keep communities safe, and ensure America leads on the world stage.”

Kim’s legislative priorities include combating inflation, lowering taxes and boosting security at the U.S.-Mexico border.

  • Joe Kerr, Democrat, retired firefighter captain

Kerr spent 34 years as a fire captain with the Orange County Fire Authority and served 17 years as president of the Orange County Professional Firefighters Assn., a labor union that represents 800 firefighters. He ran unsuccessfully for the state Senate in 2022 and for the Orange County Board of Supervisors in 2018.

He told The Times he’s running for Congress “to bring back commonsense solutions, pragmatic problem-solving and progress for working families.”

Kerr’s legislative priorities include preserving abortion rights nationwide, combating climate change by securing funding for artificial intelligence technology that can identify early-stage wildfires, making housing and healthcare more affordable and combating gun violence.

  • Allyson Muñiz Damikolas, Democrat, Tustin Unified School District board member

In 2020, Damikolas became the first Latina Democrat elected to the Tustin Unified School District board of trustees.

Her campaign has largely focused on education, affordable access to healthcare, gun violence prevention and women’s rights. On her campaign website, she explains the struggle she faced fighting insurance companies to get her daughters the care they needed after they were diagnosed with a life-threatening condition.

“With abortion rights at risk, costs on the rise, and families fearful of gun violence, this community deserves an advocate in Congress,” she said.

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